Page Type
Oregon, United States, North America
Route Type:
Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Rock Difficulty:
5.9 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Created On: Apr 19, 2006
Last Edited On: Feb 29, 2008


For now, this is going to be a "homeless" route that I will attach directly to the Smith Rock Crags group. Someday I might (or more likely NOT) make a page for the East and West Ship formations. Reason is that most of the routes on these formations (and esp. adjacent gullies) are hard (solid >5.11), single pitch, sport routes. Thought the route beta for this obscurity could be useful to other weak climbers like me.

Solar is a very nice climb on mostly solid rock that for some reason almost never gets done - we have never seen another party on this one. The line climbs to the "top" (poorly defined) of the West Ship formation in about 3 pitches. Great outing above the zoo down below and it makes a great winter route (very sunny for first half of the day).

Though the route is mostly on slid rock, there is a bit of chunky shit below the dihedral. Take extreme care not to drop anything on the crowds below!

Getting There

Follow directions given under Getting There section on Smith Rock Group page to reach the bridge over Crooked River.

From the Bridge, turn left on the riverside trail and hike under the Picnic Lunch Wall and the dark brown Ship Rock towering above. Couple hundred feet past Shiprock, look for a well-beaten trail heading up and right to the base of the river face of the West Ship (of the two Ship formations - West and East - the West one is on your left).

Option 1: If going for the Phonecall From Satan pitch 1 variation, the trail will deposit you naturally at the lowest point of the West Ship's river face and the start of this bolted line.

Option 2: If going for the original start, hike up the 3rd class gully on the right side of the West Ship till you're just about level with the anchors for Phonecall From Satan (out of view at this point, around the corner). Look for smooth, high angle slab with (right side of West Ship) a horizontal thin crack leading out left onto the river face.

Route Description

Pitch 1: 5.8, 60 feet. From inside the right-hand side gully of West Ship, climb up 10 feet and traverse left following a good edge and other holds onto the river face of West Ship. Belay at anchors atop of Phonecall From Satan. Note that the original line actually goes 20 feet higher onto the large ledge at the foot of the pitch 2 dihedral - but those bolts are not as good.

Variation: 5.9, 80 feet. Climb the bolted Phonecall From Satan on the river face of West Ship to reach the same anchors. Despite the nice climbing, you'll be missing out on history.

Pitch 2: 5.9, 70 feet. From Phonecall... bolts, move left 10 feet to the base of a thin finger crack (barely tips for me if that) in a steep headwall. Guidebook calls this section 5.8 but I thought the fingertips crack felt more like solid 5.10 (maybe I have fat fingers or missed something?). Climb this short crack (the block at the base is a bit rattly but not too bad) through some chunky rock higher and mantle onto the big ledge at the base of the left-facing dihedral. Climb up the dihedral with a good crack - stemming and jamming. Flaring hands near top are probably the dihedral crux (much easier than the thin crack below though!). There's a bolt near top of dihedral (not sure why?). Mantle onto a good stance with bolt anchor.

Pitch 3: low 5th class, 80+ feet. Move up and right via some easy grooves/chimneys. Terrain quickly becomes 4th class. Either continue along the low angle ridgeline to the top or find one of the countless bolt anchors on the right side and rap into the gully.

Descent: Either rap into the gully as mentioned earlier or hike up to the top end of the 4th class ridge and hike down the approach gully.

Essential Gear

Set of nuts with some small ones for the tips crack. Single Aliens from blue to red. Double Camalots from #.75 to #3. Single #3.5 Camalot. Helmets.

External Links

Solar page on